NOV/DEC 2005
Volume 48
Issue 6
Project Articles
Pendulum Cradle
Candle Stand
Pull-Along Dog / Salt and Pepper Shakers
Ask Smitty
Owner’s Gallery
Letters from Owners
Academy Notes
Turning Laminate Bowls
Service Pointers
Troubleshooting Table
What's New
Shopsmith Router Arm
Find A Shopsmith Woodworking Academy Near You
National Woodworking Academy in Dayton, OH
Online Accessory Catalog
Request Printed Accessory Catalog
Links Worth Visiting
Free Woodworking Tips
Contacting Shopsmith
Copyright 2005
Shopsmith, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Hands On
Notes from the Shopsmith Woodworking Academy
Turning Laminated Bowls

Turning bowls can be fascinating and rewarding…but turning a solid block of wood into a
bowl can waste an awful lot of stock. Instead, try laminating your turning stock. Simply put, lamination is the gluing and stacking of woods…a simple technique that makes the best use of your stock and permits you to easily turn deeper bowls.

Here’s a simple, step-by-step procedure for turning an 8” diameter bowl to help you get started in laminated turning. For safety’s sake, be sure to read all instructions, turn off the machine before making any adjustments and wear a dust mask and eye protection while working.

Selecting your wood
You can either use a single wood species (such as cherry), or alternate layers of light and dark woods (such as maple and walnut, etc.). Try to select woods with unique grain patterns and color. Two important tips: 1: Don’t turn stock with cracks, knots and sap pockets. 2: Don’t laminate hardwoods to softwoods.

Prepare the wood
To turn an 8” diameter laminated bowl, use four pieces of wood…cut from three pieces of 3/4" thick stock, surfaced on both sides – 8” x 8” – 7” x 7” – and 6” x 6”. If you use a thickness planer, be sure to surface your long pieces of stock, before you cut it into the sizes mentioned here.

Cutting the stock
Next, mark your stock for cutting as follows: Start with your 8” piece of stock and use a compass to draw an 8” diameter circle…and a 5-1/4” diameter circle on it.

Now, draw a 7” and a 4-1/2” diameter circle on your 7” piece of stock…and a single 6” diameter circle on your 6” piece of stock (See Fig. 1).
Drill a 1/4" diameter hole anywhere on the circumference of the smaller diameter circles on your 7” and 8; pieces of stock.
Use your Bandsaw to cut out the 8”, 7” and 6” diameter circles on your three workpieces…
then use your Scroll Saw


Gluing up the stock
Set aside the small (4-1/2” dia.) circle from your 7” piece of stock. Arrange your two rings and two blanks in ascending order (small-to-large)…then arrange the grain patterns of the rings as you like. Make a pencil mark so you can locate the same position after applying the glue.
Evenly spread a layer of yellow woodworker’s glue then securely clamp the stock together with Handscrew Clamps (See Fig 3). Allow the glue to dry for at least 24 hours before turning.


Mounting the laminated stock
To mount the laminated stock directly to a 3-3/4” Faceplate

Turn your MARK V on and set the Speed Dial to SLOW . Turn the machine off and mount the Faceplate (with your stock attached) securely to the Spindle. It always a good idea to use a see-through Lathe Safety Shield

Turning the bowl
NOTE: During the entire turning process, never exceed speed setting “D” (1,000 rpms) on your MARK V’s Speed Dial.

Starting with a sharp Roundnose Chisel, make light, even cuts as you rough-out the outside of your laminated stock. Turn from the large ring down to the small ring and once the rough-out is completed, use a sharp Skew Chisel to scrape the rough end grain smooth (See Fig 6).
Turn the machine off and move the Tool Rest to the inside of the bowl. Again, use light, even cuts as you once again use your sharp Roundnose Chisel, moving from the outside edge toward the inside center of your rotating stock (See Fig. 7)…keeping the thickness of the bowl’s “wall” consistent.


Sanding the bowl
Remove the Tool Rest. Be sure your MARK V’s Speed Dial is set on SLOW. Put on your Dust Respirator


Finishing the bowl 

When applying a finish, leave the bowl mounted on the Machine. One good tip is to mount an additional (empty) Faceplate to the Auxiliary Spindle…unplug your MARK V…and rotate this second Faceplate with one hand while you apply your finish with the other.
If you’re planning to use this bowl for serving food, be sure to use a non-toxic finish such as Salad Bowl Finish